1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
There's more to you than meets the eye! You were made in the very image of God! Just like God is three in one (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), you are also made up of three parts. Your spirit, your soul and your body.
Your spirit is the real you. Instead of saying that you have a spirit, it would be better to say you are a spirit. When 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” - it is referring to the spirit of a believer. You see, when you were born again, your spirit was re-created. Your old, dead, sinful spirit is gone – now you have been remade!
You serve God with your spirit – Romans 1:9 “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son.” Your spirit is your connection to everything in the spiritual world. This is the part of us that connects with God in worship. John 4:24 says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” In fact, everything in the kingdom of God – everything in our new life – must me done from the spirit.
Your body is the most obvious part of you. It is the place that your spirit lives. Although your body is part of you, it isn't the real you. The best way to say this is, you are a spirit and you live in a body. When you gave your life to Jesus, your body remained the same. Except for supernatural incidents of God's power, your body is subject to the laws of nature. One day, God will recreate your body in the same way He recreated your spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:35-45 states that this will take place at the rapture.
You use your body to connect to the physical world. You see, you feel, you taste, you hear and you touch with your body. You use your body for transportation in this world and manipulation of things in this world. When your body is governed by your new spirit, good things happen! But problems come when the third part of you takes control.
The third part of you is your soul. You are a spirit, you live in a body, and you have a soul. Your soul is made up of your reasoning, your emotions, and your desires. Any time you think something through, your using your soul. Any time you feel sad, mad or glad – that is the emotional part of your soul. When you see something you really want, or when you're facing something you really don't want to do – that's your soul too.
Before you were a believer, your soul was in charge. You were governed by you limited thinking, you were paralyzed or energized by your emotions, and you did whatever you wanted to do. Now you have a brand new spirit that wants to obey God's word. The problem is, your soul is still the same! You see, God recreated your spirit when you got saved, He's going to recreate your body at the rapture, but He's given you the responsibility of renewing your mind!
Often, when we talk about salvation, we use the wrong terms. We speak about Jesus “saving our souls.” The reality is, He saved our spirit when we got saved – but our soul was still as degenerate as ever! The salvation of our souls is a process! James 1:21 says, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” The only thing that is going to save your soul is a constant, steady diet of God's Word!
As long as your soul (your mind) is unsaved, it is God's enemy! Romans 8:7 says, “Because the carnal (degenerate, unsaved, un-renewed) mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” So how do we get our soul to do what's right? It has to be renewed by God's Word!
Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
As we continue to take in God's Word, our soul is renewed. You start to notice that it's easier to obey God. That's because, as your soul is recreated by God's Word, it begins to line up with your spirit.
Your new spirit always wants to obey God. In Matthew 26:41 Jesus said, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Your flesh will obey whatever is stronger, either your spirit or your soul.
So let your Spirit man be stronger than your soul! Don't let your emotions control you any more – instead learn how to be controlled by God's Word and God's Spirit. Don't let the natural things that you desire drive you, instead learn how to desire what you read in the Bible. Don't let you reasoning and your intellect to talk you out of obeying God.
Let God's Word have the final say in your spirit, your soul and your body!